Impact of Price Promotion, Price, and Minimum Unit Price on Household Purchases of Low and No Alcohol Beers and Ciders: Descriptive Analyses and Interrupted Time Series Analysis of Purchase Data From 70, 303 British Households, 2015-2018 and First Half of 2020
The introduction of lower strength alcohol products results in less absolute alcohol purchased. This paper estimates the potential impact of price in shifting British household purchases from higher to lower strength beers and ciders.
Descriptive statistics and controlled interrupted time series analyses using Kantar Worldpanel’s British household purchase data from 70,303 households during 2015-2018 and the first half of 2020.
No and low-alcohol products were less likely to be on price promotion than higher strength products. No and low-alcohol beers were cheaper per volume than higher strength beers; the reverse was the case for ciders. With the exception of low strength ciders (which had very few purchases) a higher volume was purchased when the product was on price promotion than when not. Again, with the exception of low strength ciders, the cheaper the cost, the greater the volume of purchase, more so when the product was on price promotion. The introduction of minimum unit price in Scotland (when controlling for changes in Northern England) and in Wales (when controlling for changes in Western England) shifted purchases from higher to lower strength products, more so for ciders than beers. In relative terms, the alcohol by volume of beer dropped by 2% and of cider by 7%. Changes did not differ by household income or the age of the main shopper.
There are opportunities for governments and alcohol producers and retailers to facilitate shifts of purchases from higher to lower alcohol strength products. Alcohol producers and retailers can ensure that the price of lower strength products is competitive vis a vis higher strength products. Governments can introduce minimum unit prices for the sale of alcohol, as has been done in Scotland and Wales.